August 9, 2012 at 8:22 PMJust a short blog for the moment (EDIT: SHORT MUST BE RELATIVE...EDIT: substitute "long" for "short") to say hello to old friends and express excitement regarding new ones.
This summer has been what I have been "waiting" for in many ways, musically. I'd put all my professional "eggs" in a limited amount of "baskets" and early this summer came to realize that the organizations I am in are in all intent and practice.... beyond my control. They were my "comfort zone" from which I was reluctant to step away from, but also not local (three hours drive for each orchestral job in two orchestras). That kind of thing makes for a potentially miserable sensation deep within your musical self.
I had felt that my music was "broken" as I struggled more and more to make things work in the ensembles. Devoid of students after we moved, and not being in the local music scene, my focus pivoted more and more towards the orchestral positions. When things were not going well, I fought and upped the ante in my mind and actions, getting more and more frustrated. When I finally came to realize that not only was there no representation for the musicians, but also that no amount of effort or professional pride and relative abilities had affect in administrative and personnel decisions...well...something reached a "crescendo" inside and then sfz into pp. Calm. A heady sense of freedom and decision that I would play this season out and not care so much..just ride the experiences for what they were...while building a local "prescence" musically.
That is easier said than done, but it is happening! For awhile the monetary aspect of involvement will be less than desired, but it is necessary to build a local network and is already showing promise of returns. Relationships. New roads. And...OMG...AUDITIONS!! I've been scared, honestly, of auditioning since it has been so many years since I have done any kind of audition. But here it comes, a double audition on violin and viola for a local orchestral position. It doesn't pay in itself, but it is a more elite group of functioning, surviving musicians who pass jobs around.
Too bad collegeiate training doesn't include a course outlining how the professional world works, how to navigate orchestral circuits and politics, how to make a presence of yourself and how to build a network from which jobs and students ultimately come. Or how to market yourself. I have found that marketing yourself is different depending on your community. What worked in one place is quite ineffective in another and it is EASY EASY to both get discouraged and to avoid taking risks outside of a comfy professional place.
Once a job has nowhere else to lead you but down....it is time to move on. Easier said than done!. So much for a short blog. Verbosity is the weak link in my expression, for which the internet does nothing to discourage in its many functions... :). Howdy, all!
Jennifer Steinfeld Warren
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